Hear us out: readers defend their favourite hated movies

As our writers continue to defend their favourite maligned movies, Guardian readers shared their picks for impassioned defence


Happily too. The CGI is a moot point. What stands up for me is a heartfelt story of being an outsider, belonging and creating the family you need. I thought it was a true and lovely film and one I could easily rewatch. Juicylicious

Sure, there’s no plot to speak of, but that’s beside the point. The movie is a lot of fun. It’s just one big boffo production number after another, with crazy visual effects. The wide-eyed ingenue is very wide-eyed throughout, Taylor Swift’s scene is wonderful, and Judi Dench looks like a cross between the Cowardly Lion and the beast in La Belle et la Bête. dmitrir

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

The best of Woody Allen’s London films. Brilliantly plotted. Notting Hill looks great in it. Should have made Lucy Punch a star. CrumlinBruiser

Hudson Hawk


I understand the studios tried to retool the marketing after Bruce Willis was unexpectedly successful as a macho man action hero in Die Hard, confusing the audience who sat down to see a goofy comedy movie. And goofy it certainly is, but with it’s fun back-and-forth between the heroes and the astonishing scene-chewing by the villains, it was a fun film back then, and a fun film right now. Plus Italy looks great. Plus James Coburn! SoleTwin

Massively flawed but Bruce Willis at the height of his fame (both a positive and a negative here, to be honest), Richard E Grant & Sandra Bernhard in scenery-chewing form and the one-for-the-ages museum heist/singalong to Swinging on a Star. mikebhoy

Streets of Fire

I know it’s not a good movie by any measure – it’s definitely a lot of style over substance – but I like it anyway. It bombed when it was released in 1984, and unlike some other “bad” movies I enjoy that went on to become cult favourites, its reputation does not seem to have improved over the years. witchland

Far and Away

One of my all-time favourite films is Ron Howard’s Far and Away which everyone mocked and loathed from the day it opened, but to me is a fabulously entertaining and exciting romantic adventure.

It was obviously a big influence on Titanic which is essentially the exact same film with extra added sinking ocean liner, and for that film James Horner totally nicked Enya’s Far and Away end credits song Book Of Days.

People often complain that Hollywood doesn’t make ’em like they used to, but when Ron Howard delivers a hugely old fashioned and unashamedly “Hollywood” movie everyone complains! AnwenWilson

The Lady in the Water

M Night Shyamalan brings an intriguing, gripping and original fantasy quest story to a Philadelphia apartment block. Giamatti is engaging and funny, and is backed by a magnificent cast. Fans know that there is no other film quite like this one, while cynics who hate it can often be seen bitterly gnawing their fist as they dimly realise that they are no longer capable of experiencing enchantment. alexito

Aeon Flux

I am a fan of the original cartoon from the 90s, and I know the big film version is very different, but as far as I’m concerned, it is a pretty decent and fun sci-fi action film that is a bit underrated. JoeMath

Mommie Dearest


Although it has the unfashionable aesthetics of a 1981 American made-for-television film, it’s both a decent adaptation of Christina Crawford’s memoir and a realistic portrayal of that sort of borderline personality disordered type of mother. Speaking from experience here, Faye Dunaway’s performance with its hairpin transitions from mannered “normalcy” to manic self-pitying rage is brave and brilliant and true and honors the real-life horror that too many of us have witnessed as dependent children. Lollywillowes

End of Days

I love it because in my head I like to think that the film-makers intended to make an absurdist black comedy that is deliberately dumb and overblown. If you watch it that way then it is hugely entertaining. Of course, the film-makers were actually being deadly earnest and that somehow only makes it more fun. Guffmonkey_McBawbag

Dick Tracy

I loved it as a 12-year-old and was sufficiently taken with it to get a compendium of the comics which were fantastic. I’m now reading them all in date order as they are reissued (and unedited – some pretty bad stereotypes in there, but they recognise it and mention it in the forewords).

It did what it set out to do, brought over-the-top characters and baddies v goodies to life, and even Madonna is good in it because it is so camp and pulpy it doesn’t matter if your acting is a bit rubbish. Bilbicus


It’s part fun, nostalgic coming of age story (that’s Spielberg’s bit) and part extraordinary spectacle (Bay’s). The sequels get increasingly soulless and offensive, but this is just what it needs to be, a good dumb colourful smash-up. jacobheath

Take Me Home Tonight


I know that it’s been panned for being juvenile and stupid with stupid characters. Personally I could really relate to Matt (Topher Grace) who’s got an education but doesn’t really know what to do with his life. Awkward people doing awkward things are also quite relatable. Most importantly I was entertained. The humor never reaches the peaks of something truly intellectually stimulating, but it’s a fun ride. Sometimes that’s all you need from a movie. Basiliskstare

Sex Lives of the Potato Men

I can’t think of a film that was more a victim of a snobby, class-ridden critical vendetta than this one. It’s not exactly flawless, but it didn’t deserve to face that line of smug, middle-class critics queueing up to give it a good kicking. I wonder if, in a few years time and with a swanky extra-laden Blu-ray release, it might be ripe for a critical reappraisal. davidabsalom

Cutthroat Island

Huge set pieces, brilliant actors let loose, fantastic soundtrack featuring a strong female protagonist. Fundamentally crass and with more than questionable dialogue? of course! It’s a pirate film! And a laugh-out-loud enjoyable one, once you get rid of all the prejudices against it! Arrrrrrr! GonzaloCotelo


I always felt that Equilibrium was rather unfairly forgotten about. Yes, it was another early 2000’s Matrix knock-off, but it was quite entertaining, especially the “gun-fu” fight scenes. Reign of Fire was pretty enjoyable too. It had some good special effects for such a small budget film and Christian Bale again appearing as a gruff, post-apocalyptic anti-hero, a role his acting style seems to favour. Timcab


It seemed pretty sympathetic but also made her seem human. It wasn’t a hagiography. I’ve no interest in royalty but I like history and the two can get intertwined. This film was treated pretty shabbily but that perhaps came with the territory of making a film on this subject. Haigin88

Quantum of Solace


Sure, it lacks the goofy gadgets and the same scale that’s expected with Bond films, but neither did Royale, and everyone loves that film. The more subdued tone provides a Bond that’s at his most vulnerable and therefore a film where each of his mistakes hits all the harder – there’s a true sense that the lives Bond fails to save (or takes himself) actually have weight, which is so uncommon in not only the Bond series but the spy genre as a whole. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench remain great and the addition of Olga Kurylenko is a welcome one too, her character providing Bond a glimpse at a younger, more innocent version of himself that he thought forgotten (adding to that more human depiction of the super spy). On top of all that, Alicia Keys and Jack White’s theme is easily the franchise’s best – the instrumentals reflecting the cool, suave Bond we’ve known since Fleming’s novels and the lyrics highlighting his newfound vulnerability. FergalHarte


Guardian readers

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